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3 Jan 2022

RFE/RL's Balkan Service

Serbia: Activists block roads to protest possible lithium mine over concerns it will damage environment

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Serbian activists block roads to protest possible lithium mine, 3 January 2022

Hundreds of people blocked roads at several locations in Serbia...to protest a prospective lithium mine that they say will damage the environment.

For weeks, demonstrators have staged regular protests and blocked roads demanding the government reject a possible lithium mine in western Serbia.

London-based Rio Tinto, the world's second-largest metals and mining company, is studying the possible development of a lithium mine in Serbia, believed to be one of the largest in Europe.

The mine has the potential to generate significant export revenue and jobs for Serbia, especially if the country pursues plans to refine it locally and develop lithium battery plants...

Rio Tinto says it would respect laws and environmental standards, but ecology groups worry dirty lithium mining will damage the environment. To date the company has only carried out explorations...